Virtuoso, our luxury network host, polled its members for a report on the top luxury travel trends that have emerged for the coming year. The results are in! The Luxe Report, as it’s named, offers fascinating insight into the priorities driving travel decisions for 2024, including the places around the world that are highest on families’ wish lists. (Spoiler alert: It’s no surprise that Italy, still our clients’ most requested destination, came in first place once again.)
With the value of time — and the significance of how and with whom we spend it — now a focal point for many, Virtuoso travel advisors report their clients are more interested than ever in fulfilling their travel aspirations. Despite inflation and global unrest, they remain insatiably curious and willing to pay for new experiences. More than half of advisors surveyed expect travel demand and spend per trip to increase in 2024.
The Luxe Report identified five key trends highlighting how upscale globetrotters are establishing their influence in the travel-sphere for 2024.
Although many continue to find comfort in their past favorites, other experienced travelers are diverging from the usual European options and branching out to exotic locales and less-explored areas. Driven by the desire to visit a place dreamed of during the pandemic, an under-the-radar location recommended by an advisor or even the ambition of being “first” to a destination, luxury travelers are intrigued by the unexplored. The cultural richness of reemerging travel hot spots, such as Japan and Iceland, offer unique and exciting itineraries for those seeking a departure from the norm.
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Post-pandemic travel saw many delayed celebrations realized, and the festivities continue with celebration travel making the list of top trends and motivations for 2024. It’s no surprise travelers are sharing life’s most important moments with family — travel with immediate family tops the trends list and multigenerational travel follows close behind. Whether commemorating a milestone or simply spending quality time together, travel remains an essential part of connecting with loved ones.
Extreme weather has shaped a traveler who is hyper-aware of the fragility of the world and eager to honor its majesty. Virtuoso advisors say their clients are pushing geographical boundaries to witness nature in its pristine form for fear it will diminish or become inaccessible. Greece, Morocco and Hawaii are also top of mind for travelers who want to support the economy of destinations recently impacted by disaster while remaining respectful of their recovery.
With less crowded, more intimate settings in favor, small-vessel cruising is on the rise with new and experienced cruisers alike. Upscale voyagers in search of a more authentic experience are favoring river cruises for the casual atmosphere, proximity to major cities and wide-ranging itineraries. Popular routes include the Danube River, the Mekong River and the Nile. Adventure cruising is also trending due to prevailing interest in Alaska and increased accessibility to Antarctica, 2024’s leading adventure destination. Private yacht charters are an emerging category for small groups of friends or families who prefer to customize their maritime activities.
Lingering restrictions, frustrating shortages and turbulent air travel have led to increased demand for custom trips made easy. From exclusive-use experiences — private jets, yachts and villas — to booking half days at hotels to ensure they have accommodations that fit their needs, today’s traveler is maximizing comfort. Their desire to leave nothing to chance serves as increased motivation for using a professional travel advisor to simplify bookings and enhance the overall experience.
Perennially popular, Italy remains the global favorite destination, whether for families or honeymooners. But it’s not simply back to basics for luxury travelers. Croatia and Portugal are the new European favorites for those looking to avoid crowds in Italy and Greece. One of the last countries to open its borders to the outside world, Japan, with its refined culture and in-demand cuisine, heads the list of reemerging destinations. Travelers are also rediscovering Southeast Asia, with Thailand and Vietnam on the must-see list for many in 2024. Due to elevated interest in the upcoming Paris Olympics, as well as its status as a beloved destination among foodies and art connoisseurs, France ascended into the top five in three categories, including family travel. Adventure seekers are drawn to the enchantment of the northern lights and the unspoiled splendor of Norway, Iceland, Alaska and Antarctica.
Editor’s note: Alice Marshall Public Relations supplied content and images for this post.
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